The Expository Files

Beginnings - the Human Race


The highway sign said “Welcome to the Garden of Eden. Population 02. Please don't litter”

Well, I doubt that there was such a sign. There would have been no need for it. Not at “the beginning.” And this was the beginning of all beginnings.
Adam and Eve were the first people to populate God's new, unspoiled earth. No invention of man can approach its beauty and perfection. But because of sin, our first grand parents were exiled from the garden. Their sin was the beginning of sin, and the beginning of consequences set in motion that would last throughout the scope of human history. The earth and all it contains has not ceased to feel the effects of transgression. But also, the promise is made that “through the seed of woman” that there would be provided hope for man in his sin.

The book of Genesis is referred to as “the book of beginnings.” In fact, that is what the word “genesis” means. It means “beginning.” Much of what we read in the book has very definite correlation to our lives and conditions and hope right now. Consider how directly these things effect us today.

“In Our Image”
The Scriptures explain to us that God is the source of our world. Without Him there would be no humanity, no life, no world, and no universe. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.... Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (Genesis 1:1;26).

The second chapter of Genesis goes into greater detail regarding the creation of man, expanding on the short statement of 1:26,27. The things that separate man from the other creatures of the earth are that he was created in God's image (1:26) and God gave man a special spirit by breathing “into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7). This is why humanity is referred to as “the offspring of God.” (Acts 17:28,29).

God created man and placed him in a garden where he had everything he would need, except for one thing. He was alone and without companionship. The animals were to far beneath him to provide everything he needed in companionship, and God could relate to man as God, but not as an equal. God created woman as a helper fit for man (Genesis 2:18; 21-22).

Human Life and Animal Life
There are organizations in our country today, some of them very radical and even potentially violent, that at the very least equate the lives of all living creatures as equally sacred. Some say it is immoral to eat meat and refer to people who do as murderers. Ironically, many of these people also have a very naturalistic view of the world, believing that the cosmos evolved into its present condition. Some might also be influenced by Hinduism or other Eastern mystical religions.

I always thought it was ironic that they view it to be immoral for me to eat a fish, but not for a bear to do so. If they are right, and we are all equal, then why not also protest when a bear eats a fish? Why don't they march up to that bear with their signs and shake their fists in his face and yell, “Murderer!”? (I think I know why... I am just asking).

They are wrong. The human being is different from the other creatures of the earth by virtue of God's design. Implications of this include that human life is sacred and of much more value than animal life (Genesis 9:5,6; Matthew 10:31). Also, we can talk of man's moral responsibility, but not an animal's. We also notice that man's soul survives his physical death intact and we also recognize the brotherhood of all mankind. When man loses sight of these things, he often does become more like the animals he identifies with, a creature of instinct instead of a moral creature with moral values and judgments (2 Peter 2:12-ff).

Life Comes From God
There is something that animal life and human life have in common. Neither is by accident. Both are by Divine plan and power. Life is not an accident. It is not the result of randomness. The intricacies of even the smallest cell is so overwhelmingly complicated that no one can reasonably explain how such would randomly occur with every little mechanism necessary for life to be functioning. Some like to talk of magnetic fields, heat, lightning and chemical compositions of the”early primordial soup” in which the first life was formed when everything was just right. Problem is, apart from God there is no “soup” either.... or world.... or sun.... or lightning.... or magnetic fields.... or matter.... nothing.

Just as all physical life comes from God, so it is with spiritual life and eternal life. It is all from God and of God. Sin brings death. Jesus brings life. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36). Eternal life simply cannot be found anywhere else. As Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”. (John 6:68). As many times as Jesus taught this, it is absolutely amazing that some who claim to speak for Christ today say that one can have eternal life apart from believing and obeying the Son. If it is so, then Jesus lied. If Jesus spoke the truth, then it is not so.

The Role of the Woman in the Home
The fact is that this was determined by God at the beginning. To reject it is to disrespect and dishonor God. One of the reasons given for God's arrangement (which our culture frowns so on today, mocking and ridiculing His word) which includes the man being the head of his home is that Adam was created first, and then the woman to help him meet his responsibilities and provide loving and equal companionship. 1 Timothy 2:13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13; Ephesians 5:22-33). This does not say that men and women are not equally precious in God's eyes. It merely recognizes that which God has ordained. That is our purpose as His children.


By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 11.12; December 2004